Meet the Team
Rebecca Massie: Founder
I am a mental health activist, peer-provider, writer, and public speaker from San Francisco. I come to each of these positions after many years as a patient in the mental health system. My experiences as a patient allow for me to help others feel less alone as they navigate the mental health system.
I founded Better Because Collective because of the many stories I had heard of how people were able to better their lives through the skills they learned throughout their mental health journeys. I searched for an online community where I could immerse myself in these stories but, to my surprise, was unable to find anything like this. It was clear to me that people not only needed to share their own stories, but that they needed to read the stories of others in order to help one another grow and heal.
So, I created a platform for people to share, celebrate, and learn from personal stories of post-traumatic growth. My hope is that Better Because Collective will help individuals in the midst of mental health experiences to find hope, and that it will serve as a teaching tool for mental health practitioners as they learn about post-traumatic growth.
Jade Dumoulin: Interim Managing Editor
I’m a young poet, storyteller, and lover of words. I recently graduated from Salve Regina University with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. My extensive experience in essay-tutoring and creative workshopping has shaped my passion for editing and publishing.
I joined the Better Because Collective because I believe that overcoming and growing from trauma is a metamorphosis – and often the chrysalis opens up as we do, once the story is told. Better Because Collective illustrates the idea that empathy creates vitality. I am able to use my understanding of language and writing to help others tell their stories, and in doing so, to create a more empathetic and kind world.
India Kushner: Editor
I’m a writer and editor by night, and a first impressions coordinator at a co-working space in Baltimore, Maryland, by day. I have experience as an editor for feminist organizations, Rose Water Magazine, and The Tempest. My work experience – helping writers craft narratives of their own stories, and writing related to current events – is what drew me to the Better Because Collective.
I believe that anyone can be a writer with the right tools. I hope to help raise awareness about topics that are often overlooked, and to uplift voices that deserve to be heard.
Meaghan O’Brien: Editor
I’m an optimistic, adventure-seeking, dog-loving, latte-sipping mental health professional. I have recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master’s in Education and a concentration in Equity & Social Justice. To me, storytelling is a bridge for individuals who would otherwise not have the chance to connect.
I have always been able to articulate myself better through the written word, and continuously find myself in spaces where I am writing, reviewing, and copyediting literature. Throughout my schooling and my work in the non-profit sector, I have grown an affinity for supporting others on their path towards becoming better writers.
I joined the Better Because Collective because connection, sharing, and growth were predecessors in my own mental health journey. I want to aid and amplify stories of lived experiences so that others realize they too can be a writer or storyteller.
Maitri Kamdar: Communications Strategist
I’m a creative strategist and brand developer by profession and an optimistic and empathetic person by heart. Growing up in the United Arab Emirates and India has given me a cultural mindset that allows me to offer new perspectives to others – filling their lives with color. I’m passionate about joining hands with people through cultures, intentions, and causes, and I employ my content creation and communication strategies to build a more connected world around me.
Being the daughter of a personal recovery champion, I have witnessed the journey to mental wellness firsthand. Through the Better Because Collective, I’m able to raise awareness for a platform that encourages a positive outlook through conversations on mental wellness. It is my job to build a safe space for people to tell their stories and foster an attitude of hope and growth in their journey ahead, together.
Stepha Poulin: Copywriting Manager
I’m a graduate student, journalist, and writer with experience as a reporter, copy editor, and editor-in-chief. I currently live in Cleveland, Ohio, with my two cats while pursuing a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications at Bowling Green State University. My work in student media and as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch has allowed me to practice what I love – learning, editing, and writing alongside fellow journalists.
I joined the Better Because Collective because of my passion for storytelling and hearing stories otherwise untold. Whether creating a feature story or simple website copy, I strive to uplift diverse perspectives through the written word.
Bayleigh Acosta: Copywriter
I’m a writer, nature-lover, and student from Dallas, Texas. I recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in English writing. I have a love for writing of all kinds and embrace any opportunity to work alongside others and further my passion.
The Better Because Collective combines my passion for writing with my passion for others. My mental wellness journey has given me an optimistic and inclusive perspective that I strive to use in each of my personal and professional endeavors. I enjoy being a part of a community that employs these values through the art of storytelling.
Aileen Wang: Social Media Manager
I’m a data-driven digital marketer based in San Francisco. Motivated by an increasingly technological world, my personal mission is to bridge the gap and create genuine connections between humans. Through the power of social media, I hope to create a future that is more compassionate and less complicated.
Through the Better Because Collective, I’m able to help others find a safe, inclusive space to share their struggles with mental health and traumatic experiences. As I work to elevate each individual’s story, I hope that others will find support and solace in the triumphs of one another.
Elaine Yang: Project Manager
I’m a creative, a graduate student, and a business professional based in San Francisco. As a user experience design graduate pivoting into project management, I look forward to providing a human-centered, empathetic perspective to my everyday work. While I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems at Northwestern University, I have continued to pursue philanthropy, mental health-related volunteer opportunities to help others.
By joining the Better Because Collective, I hope to contribute to the effort of destigmatizing mental health and assist the organization to further optimize, scale to reach more individuals, and let them share their voices.